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Newly crowned Miss Tennessee 2018 Christine Williamson plans to continue previous queen's message as well as add Alzheimer's Awareness message. KENNETH CUMMINGS, The Jackson Sun

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Miss Chattanooga Christine Williamson was crowned Miss Tennessee 2018, Saturday, June 23, at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson. (Photo: KENNETH CUMMINGS/The Jackson Sun)

 

Information that’s been released since Sunday night’s announcement that the (newly formed and newly named) Miss Tennessee Competition will be held this year in Knoxville has caused some confusion about the situation relative to the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant in Jackson.

The Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant has been in Jackson for more than 60 years, so many residents and others who have made watching the pageant a tradition have questions about the situation as a whole.

Joe Albright, coordinator of the competition in Knoxville, answered some of those questions. Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist and Lori Nunnery, Executive Director of Jackson Tourism, answered a few more. But many questions won't be answered until the legal proceedings between the Miss America Organization and the board over the pageant in Jackson are complete.

Of the questions that could be answered:

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Kellye Cash was Miss Tennessee for 1986 and went on to become Miss America for 1987. Submitted Photo>FullscreenMiss Germantown 2018 Cassidy Sheppard, left, will beBuy Photo
Miss Germantown 2018 Cassidy Sheppard, left, will be competing in the 2018 Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant in June. Her mother, Kellye Cash Sheppard, was crowned Miss Tennessee 1986 and later became Miss America 1987. They are together May 13, 2018. Kenneth Cummings / The Jackson SunBuy Photo>FullscreenMiss Tennessee Valley Hayley Lewis is being crownedBuy Photo
Miss Tennessee Valley Hayley Lewis is being crowned Miss Tennessee 2014 on June 21, 2014, at the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in downtown Jackson. Megan Smith / The Jackson SunBuy Photo>FullscreenHayley Lewis, 2014 Miss Tennessee, is now a sports
Hayley Lewis, 2014 Miss Tennessee, is now a sports broadcaster for ABC Sports in Oregon. She has been there since September 2017. Submitted Photo>FullscreenMiss Mid-South Grace Burgess is crowned Miss TennesseeBuy Photo
Miss Mid-South Grace Burgess is crowned Miss Tennessee 2016 by former Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison at the Carl Perkins Civic Center on June 18, 2016. C.B. Schmelter / The Jackson SunBuy Photo>FullscreenGrace Burgess, center, Miss Tennessee for 2016, poses
Grace Burgess, center, Miss Tennessee for 2016, poses with her parents, Howard and Dee Burgess, after graduating from Memphis University in December 2017. Submitted Photo>Fullscreen

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    Question: Are there really going to be two Miss Tennessee pageants this year?

    Answer: Yes. The new board awarded the license for the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Competition, and the Miss America Organization is proceeding with plans for that competition, which will be in Knoxville at a venue to be named later, with the winner being crowned on June 29, according to new director Joe Albright. The Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant will be held at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson, with the winner crowned on June 22, Mayor Gist said.

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    People at night four of the 2018 Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant, Saturday, June 23, at the Carl Perkins Civic Center (Photo: GAIL BAILEY/The Jackson Sun)

    Q: What are the main differences between the two pageants?

    A: The one in Knoxville reflects the values of the current leadership of Miss America Organization (MAO) headed up by Gretchen Carlson and Regina Hopper with the changes they announced last summer that will focus more on interviews and less on physical appearance. The Jackson pageant holds tradition, and will continue to have three nights of evening wear, talent and swimsuit competitions before the state champion is crowned that Saturday night. The pageant in Knoxville has been named the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Competition. Jackson will host the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant.

    Q: What prizes for the winners of the “competition” and “pageant” are at stake?

    A: The winner of the competition in Knoxville advances to Miss America in Atlantic City. The winner of the pageant in Jackson will continue to be an ambassador of the state, as the Governor’s spokesperson for character education and will make appearances as Miss Tennessee at events such as parades and other societal occasions.

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    Jay and Allison DeMarcus hold signs made by fans during the 2015 Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant Thursday evening at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson. (Photo: MEGAN SMITH/The Jackson Sun)

    Q: Can contestants compete in both pageants?

    A: According to Albright, no. Albright said the winners of local pageants, qualifying to compete for the state crown, will sign a contract with one event or the other. But Albright also questioned if it was even possible for a woman to compete in state pageants in consecutive weeks. “These young women are exhausted at the end of pageant week, with all the events and all the preparation that goes into competing,” Albright said. “So I don’t even see how it’s physically possible to go through one week of it, then prepare to do it again the following week.”

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    People at night four of the 2018 Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant, Saturday, June 23, at the Carl Perkins Civic Center (Photo: GAIL BAILEY/The Jackson Sun)

    Q: How will local winners determine where to compete next?

    A: That is the choice of the competitor and the local pageant directors. Albright said there have been a few that have notified him they will be in Knoxville, and he confirmed there have been others who have affirmed they’re staying in Jackson.

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    Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant President/Producer Jimmy Exum is joined with and MTSP Chairman and CEO Tom Hensley to talk about their frustrations with the current Miss America Organization leadership during a press conference, Monday, Aug. 20, in the Miss Tennessee Room at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson. (Photo: KENNETH CUMMINGS/The Jackson Sun)

    Q: Could Jackson have hosted the competition?

    A: Due to legal obligations and loyalties to the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant from leadership in city government and business, no. Gist said public venues in Jackson

    like most other cities — have protection clauses with people who rent their venues and sell tickets. “If a hard rock group wanted to come to Jackson for a concert and sold out quickly and made a lot of money, that might make another hard rock group want to come to Jackson to play the next week,” Gist said. “But protection clauses keep us from being able to sign another hard rock group — or whatever kind of music or entertainment you want to use for an example — within a certain timeframe that could affect the ticket sales for the first group that came to Jackson. So, because we already had the local pageant signed on for the Civic Center, that would keep us from even considering another pageant there within a few weeks — if Jackson could even handle two state pageants in the same year.”

    Q: Will Knoxville host a competition every year?

    A: No. Albright said in December they wanted to make the competition one that includes all of the state, and one of the ways that will be reflected is not having the competition in the same city every year. They don’t know yet where the competition will be in 2020, and they don’t yet know all the criteria for the cities that could host it — which will include venue size, security, production quality, among other things yet to be determined. “I will say the one thing that made us go to Knoxville for the first year, was how welcoming they were to us and how interested they were,” Albright said. “We won’t take this anywhere that’s not interested, because we want this to be a good experience for all involved, and that has a greater chance of happening if the host site is all-in for it.”

    There are other questions that are yet to be answered and won’t be until the lawsuit between MAO and the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant board, with other state boards, is complete.

    Reach Brandon Shields at bjshields@jacksonsun.com or at 731-425-9751. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or on Instagram at editorbrandon.

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    People at night four of the 2018 Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant, Saturday, June 23, at the Carl Perkins Civic Center (Photo: GAIL BAILEY/The Jackson Sun)

    Source : https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/local/2019/01/15/q-a-clearing-up-miss-tennessee-confusion/2579422002/

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